For children who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) the ability to have access to a growing vocabulary is critical for long-term language development. Many children must rely on someone, either a parent, a teacher, or a speech-language pathologist, to program unique vocabulary they might need in their AAC system (i.e., low technology or high technology), or have basic spelling skills to type and use word prediction, in order to fully participate in an educational lesson, answer a question in a job placement, or participate in a conversation about something specific (e.g., a spring break trip). However, it has been documented that individuals who use AAC, either low-technology or high-technology with voice output, struggle to acquire appropriate expressive vocabulary skills.
One solution for providing access to new vocabulary – either school fringe or conversation – for individuals who use AAC is to utilize the speech from conversation partners. Vocabulary Coordinator (VocaCoord) is a novel new software that uses speech-to-text to display unique vocabulary in real time. This presentation will discuss the preliminary results of the use of VocaCoord for six individuals – three children and three adults – who use AAC. Specifically, the impact on their vocabulary learning and use, as well as their perceptions of and the usability of the VocaCoord software/app.